What the Thames Valley really needs

    Reading the excellent and fascinating EY report, The Thames Valley – A framework for growth, I was struck by the clear messages about people and skills, writes Mark Swain, director, The Henley Partnership.

    And as the report talks about competitiveness requiring “greater collaboration between educators and employers”, your local business school should probably throw its hat in the ring …

    In our language, what the Thames Valley really needs is to be crammed full (imagine a Reading-London commuter train) of the most talented people in the UK. Much of this boils down to attracting, and then developing, the best quality managers and leaders. Uncertainty around Brexit screams the need for leadership agility. Boards need to think systematically about how to maximise and mobilise the region’s diversity and skills mix. Productivity requires top-notch managers that enable change and deliver effortless execution. And picking up the report’s theme of encouraging companies to “invest in technology, leadership skills and workforce development”, large and small businesses need to disrupt markets, and drive digital transformation.

    These are fortunately all themes we cover in The Henley Partnership, Henley Business School’s simple and smart way to give senior leaders access to top-end learning and leadership development. And look out for our apprenticeship levy programmes that offer the opportunity for Thames Valley businesses to develop these leadership skills. Banish the myth that the levy is just for 16-18 year old apprentices. We have new funded solutions for talented managers and senior leaders. 

    After my latest 75-minute car journey from Reading to Thatcham, I’d love to say Henley Business School can fix the issues around congestion. But instead keep me focused on the report’s insistence that we “create a compelling proposition to attract and retain talent”. If you see people development as about finding and keeping the best people, there are many low-cost, high-value options available to every employer. Why not get in touch for an initial discussion?

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    Mark Swain

    01491 418855

    thp@henley.ac.uk

    henley.ac.uk

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